My husband shaved off his mustache last Wednesday. It took me seeing him twice that morning before I noticed it. The last time he made this dramatic change to his face, he finally pointed it out to me … the following day.
Since he’d been on Thanksgiving break, today was his first day back to work. I called him about three hours after his starting time to see if anyone noticed. He replied, “Only one person so far.” He works at a high school so by this time he’d literally seen hundreds of people. (Yay. I’m not such a bad wife after all!)
I used to work with a man who grew a full beard every winter. He shaved it off every spring. It always took me a little while to realize when he shaved … and this was an annual event.
I stopped coloring my hair about two or three years ago. Last month, I decided to start coloring it again. (Who knows why we girls do what we do.) I went from salt-and-pepper, with MUCH more salt than pepper, to dark brown with blond highlights. (I look like my website and FB photos and Twitter avatar again.)
I walk with my neighbor four or five mornings a week. We’ve been walking together regularly since January. It took her three days to notice I’d changed my hair. I finally pointed out the change to my other neighbor after seeing her four times that week. And I didn’t notice a few months earlier when she changed her hair color either. We’ve known each other for 15+ years. Since my hair change, I’ve been to two events with people I see fairly regularly. Again, no one noticed. (Or at least they didn’t say anything.)
So what could this possibly have to do with job search and your career??? Why did I share these stories of complete and total obliviousness with you? Think about it. If I didn’t notice a major change in the man I’ve lived with for the past 12 years and the rest of the changes listed above went unnoticed, what makes you think a complete stranger or professional associate will notice anything about you without some help from you? I know. That sounds pretty harsh, but it illustrate the importance of tooting your own horn when job searching and reminding superiors of your accomplishments as you move through your career.
Don’t assume people know the skills associated with “opening and closing the store.” Tell them. Don’t count on your boss to remember the major project you spearheaded six months ago. Remind him as it nears review time. Don’t conclude because you didn’t get a call when applying for a position “they” hate you. Follow-up. (“They” are probably so overwhelmed with the craziness of their own day; they have yet to realize you’re even in their inbox yet.)
Face it. We’re all so wrapped in our own lives, we seldom notice things outside our immediate sphere. Be polite, but be bold in pointing out your wonderfulness. As you can see waiting for someone to notice isn’t going to work.